Preparing for Comps? Tip #2

It might be tempting to go to the ML 410 section and check out every book on each composer you are researching. While these books will give a biographical portrait of the composer and help you understand the context in which your piece was written, they might not discuss the piece from an analytical or theoretical perspective.

When searching the library catalog by subject , check the subheading “Criticism and Interpretation” after the composer’s name as subject. (E.g. Chopin Frederic 1810 1849 Criticism And Interpretation). This search will lead you to some more indepth resources.

In the MT section, you will also find books that discuss works of individual composers by genre. This section is organized as follows:

MT 90 – General guides to musical works
MT 92 – Guides to the music of individual composers .
MT 95 – General guides to operas.
MT 100 – Guides to the operas of a specific composer.
MT 110 – Guides to cantatas and oratorios
MT 115 – Guides to the cantatas and oratorios of specific composers.
MT 125 – General guides to orchestral music.
MT 130 – Guides to the orchestral music of specific composers
MT 140 – General guides to solo and ensemble music.
MT 145 – Guides to solo and ensemble music of specific composers.
ML 390 – Books about many composers.
ML 395 – Books about a specific composer and his/her music.


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